1) I've become aware that blogger is eating some comments that contain URLs. It isn't doing it for my comments, and I actually do see the comments that are eaten (they're emailed to me same as all others, hence I often don't notice that they never actually make it onto the site), they just don't show for whatever reason. I don't know if I'm special as the proprietor, or if certain commenters have been flagged by the system as possible spammers. I also don't know how to fix it, and, given it's finals season and the identity of the most-affected commenters, I don't really care right now either. But I did want to register my awareness of the situation.
2) The story behind the name of this blog is simple: I was a debater in high school, and wanted to have a space where I could present arguments and sources to the debate community. Very rapidly, this blog moved away from that mission, but the name stuck (at one point I considered changing it to "The Dissenting Opinion", but I felt it was already too late. Ditto with changing the URL). Hence, the title of this blog ought not be taken as providing any explicit or implicit commitment to running my comments section in any particular way. It is, more or less, a historical accident.
At this stage, the purpose of the blog is to give me an outlet for my writing and a place to hash out my thoughts. That project is aided by intelligent interlocutors (agreeing or disagreeing). This being the internet, though, "intelligent interlocutors" are in short supply. To the extent that certain readers have historically helped deepen my understanding of issues, I'm grateful (I think those commenters know who they are, and I do wish they'd participate more often, though I understand why they don't). But I don't give participation ribbons, and don't see my comments section as an open invitation for trolls to roll in the mud with each other. My sole criterion for participation on my site via my comment threads is whether or not I, in my sole discretion, feel like there is a positive contribution being made. If one doesn't like that, Blogger is free! Start your own site. Link to me and rip/laud me to your hearts content. I may even respond. Or I may not.
Most comment boards are awful. I can think of two exceptions, Alas, a Blog, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, and it is no accident that both are heavily moderated. Unfortunately, Blogger as a platform doesn't give me the moderating tools I'd need to replicate their environment (and I don't have a broad enough readership base anyway). So unless I want to start deleting comments one-by-one, I'm forced to rely on self-regulation, and that's typically been a massive failure.